Ocean acidification threatens future of aquaculture, shellfish industries

The world’s oceans are turning more acidic. Since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have grown by more than 70 percent and now stand at the highest level in at least 800,000 years. As the oceans absorb additional CO2, they’ve become 30 percent more acidic over this period. 
The Gulf of Maine is particularly vulnerable because its colder water more readily absorbs carbon dioxide and because the increasing frequency of major snow and rain events flood the gulf with more acidic river runoff. 

Sphaera: Helping change makers do more, faster

Everyday around the world, people are coming up with new ways to tackle the greatest social and environmental challenges of our lifetime. Whether we’re focused on solving problems across time zones or in our own backyards, when we can learn from our collective successes and failures we are better, faster, and more effective at finding solutions. Sharing our knowledge allows others to challenge, refine, and adapt it to best meet their needs, perpetuating a ripple effect of positive change.

Islands in the mainstream: Affordable housing key to sustainable island populations

By Laurie Schreiber / Mainebiz
An influx of new families on Great Cranberry Island promises hope for a sustainable year-round community.
Their move here was made possible by the development of affordable housing in a real estate market that is otherwise outpriced for moderate incomes.
Great Cranberry is one of seven islands that shared a 2010 allotment of $2.7 million earmarked by the state for affordable, energy-efficient new construction, renovation and replacement housing.

Beer brewer located 10 miles out to sea adds to line

Monhegan Brewing Company and the Island Institute announced Wednesday the release of the new island-themed beer, a “summer blonde” brew named 15, after the 15 year-round island communities on the Maine coast. Artwork for the beer label was provided by Monhegan artist Donna Cundy.
The Island Institute will receive $1 for every bottle of 15 sold. Monhegan Brewing co-owner Mary Weber said that they support the work of the Island Institute, which helped Monhegan Brewing at its start by providing some capital funding through a loan.

A big shift is coming to the Maine lobster population — and it could devastate the local economy

Fishermen used to go out at 5 a.m. and come home at 3 p.m.
But now, Susie Arnold, a researcher at the Island Institute who works with local communities, says that fisherman are beginning to buy larger boats to make longer, even overnight, trips to where the lobsters now live.
And while government climate reports recognize moving lobster fisheries as a potential issue, Maine doesn’t have any solutions in place to help the fisherman.

WINDExchange Summit Participants Learn More about Wind Industry’s Status, Successes, and Challenges

The U.S. Department of Energy’s WINDExchange Summit in Orlando on May 18 provided an opportunity for the audience to learn more about the current status of the wind energy industry. The audience included members of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), national lab representatives, Regional Resource Centers, state energy officials, and professional and institutional partners.

Diverse alliance wants state wired for fast Internet

The Maine Broadband Coalition takes a pro-active approach on many bills pending this session in Augusta.
A collection of Maine businesses, municipalities and nonprofit organizations has formed the Maine Broadband Coalition to help state policy leaders improve the quality and speed of Internet services.

Sea Change: Dirty-fuel divestment a rising moral choice

When Holly Zadra suggested that Pittsfield’s First Universalist Church divest its holdings in fossil-fuel corporations, she recalls that church councilors responded with awkward silence “as if I’d said something impolite.” People naturally resist discussing their complicity in an energy system that is destabilizing the planet.